Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn believes Mikel Arteta could look within to replace creative midfielder Martin Odegaard.
Odegaard spent the second half of last season on loan at the Emirates Stadium from Real Madrid, impressing and convincing the Gunners to pursue a permanent move.
But as the Norwegian has since said himself, he is headed back to Real Madrid, and Arsenal will have to look elsewhere to fulfil the creative void he will leave in the midfield.
A number of players have already been linked, but according to Gunners legend Winterburn, Arteta could look within to replace Odegaard ahead of next season.
“I would assume that he would have to bring in a similar sort of player, that playmaker or attacking midfielder,” Winterburn told Netbet.
“We’ve got Willock, but he’s stronger running with the ball and arriving late into the box which isn’t exactly the same qualities as Odegaard.
“Emile Smith-Rowe could play that role, so there’s already a couple of options, but if he isn’t happy with that they will look to bring in another attacking midfielder.”
Smith Rowe initially impressed in a central role last season but found himself pushed into wider positions after the introduction of Odegaard at the back end of January.
It’s unclear whether the youngster will remain out wide, or whether Arteta will move him back into the middle to cater for the loss of Odegaard.